Ask the Experts: Finding the Perfect White Paint

As I mentioned earlier this week, it’s time for a little interior update in our apartment. We live in an old building with beautiful moldings, but our entire apartment is painted an unfortunate shade of ivory. And while I would love to paint the entire apartment white, I don’t think I’m up for such an overhaul. For now, we are going to start with the living room, and possibly the entryway.

Finding the perfect white paint seems like an easy enough task, but on the contrary. Being that my boyfriend and I are in creative fields, we are very aware of color, so white is not simple. White is actually more complicated than color because there are thousands of white hues to choose from. To help narrow my search, I turned to my friends in the interior design world for a little advice on the subject. Here’s what they had to say…

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Michelle Adams, Editor in Chief of Domino Magazine, “I’m so in love with Ralph Lauren’s Tibetan Jasmine–they use it in every Ralph Lauren showroom worldwide!  It’s so chic. I also love Benjamin Moore’s Super White, because it is a more crisp white.” 

Joseph Foglia, Owner and Designer of Joseph Foglia Designs, he has designed some of our favorite restaurants here in Brooklyn. “I live in a high ceiling loft space that gets lots of light and I like to keep it painted with a pure white. This allows the furniture and artwork to pop a bit, and helps the room feel more energetic, crisp, and lively. My default bright white choice is Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White in an eggshell finish. It does have the slightest tint of grey in it which works well with darker toned wood furniture.”

Elizabeth Dimond, Visual Designer, C. Wonder,Donald Kaufman DKC 51 is my “go to” white. It’s a white for those afraid of white because it’s specially formulated to shift in hue, depending on the time of day and natural light. It’s magic! I also love Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore.”

Anthony Gianacakos, Owner and Designer of Anthony George Home Inc“I generally don’t use white for walls when it comes to my home or projects, but it is nice to have some great white options that are not plain old white. My two favorite white colors are Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, which pairs well with warm tones and Benjamin Moore’s White Diamond, which pairs well with cool tones. In the off-chance I am doing light walls on a project, I tend to lean towards grey toned whites, my favorite is Benjamin Moore’s Pure White. It will give the space just enough color without going too far from white.”

After reviewing all of my friends’ suggestions, here’s what happened… Unfortunately, I could not locate a store that sold Ralph Lauren paint in New York City, so I didn’t get to see what Tibetan Jasmine looked like, but I am still dreaming of it. I picked up the rest of the color swatches suggested, and lived with them taped to the walls for a week. I finally narrowed it down to the four in the photograph above, all from Benjamin Moore. Now I have a small square of each color painted on two different walls in the living room and it will take me a few more days to make the final decision. But it’s between Chantilly Lace and Super White right now.

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